What to do when there’s ‘nothing’ to do…

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If your organization is planning an event of any kind, please email Caitlin at crockett@boulderweekly.com

Jalyn Webb sings Adele. 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 (and Saturday, Sept. 12), BDT Stage, 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. Tickets are $35.00 and include dinner.

Spend an evening celebrating the hits of Adele with local vocal powerhouse and theater mainstay Jalyn Webb as she pays tribute to the legend from Tottenham and the women who inspired her: Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Carole King and more. Get ready to sing along to hits like “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Respect,” and, of course, chart toppers from Adele like “Hello,” “Rumor Has It” and “Rolling in the Deep.” 

Bee Boulder Festival. 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

The Bee Boulder Festival is online this year, including entertainment, talks, workshops and garden tours. “Visit” booths to join activities, gather information and ask questions. Like other years, there will be entertainment, educational and fun activities for kids, including performances by Jeff & Paige and Boulder Public Library storytimes. In addition, top experts will be providing information, workshops and answering your questions about pollinators, gardening, native plants and growing local food.

Mental Health Partner’s Third Annual Boulder Skyline Traverse Challenge.  Saturday, September 12.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, Mental Health Partners (MHP) will host its third annual Boulder Skyline Traverse Challenge to raise money for sucide prevention training and education. There are three ways for community members to get involved this year: The Long Challenge, a 17-mile run ideal for experienced trail runners, beginning at 5:30 a.m. at the South Mesa Trailhead; The Mini Challenge, a 5-mile trail run perfect for runners who want to participate but not complete the full challenge, starting at 10 a.m. at the Mt. Sanitas Trailhead; and The Couch Challenge, where you can seek donations from family, friends and colleagues from the comfort of your couch. Regardless of the option selected, the winner of the challenge is the person who raises the most money. 

Studio Arts Boulder’s Fifth Annual Chili Bowl. 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 13, Diagonal Crossing Expansion Site, 3750 Canfield St., Boulder.

COVID can’t stop Studio Arts Boulder’s Fifth Annual Chili Bowl and Fall Sale fundraiser. Join in at Studio Arts Boulder’s future expansion site at Diagonal Crossing to shop for beautiful pottery, handmade by students, staff and friends of Studio Arts Boulder. Purchase a chili bowl and enjoy a complimentary take-home tasting of chili from one of our restaurant partners.

Boulder Pridefest Motorcade. 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, Downtown Boulder, outboulder.org. Event is free to attend, but donations are appreciated.

Boulder Pridefest is still on! While the pandemic has stopped the usual day-long festival, you can join in for the first-ever Boulder Pridefest 2020 Motorcade. Deck your car out in fabulous pride gear and head on down to the designated meeting spot on Sunday, Sept. 13 to help create LGBTQ visibility in the City of Boulder.

Online premiere of ‘Purple Mountains,’ a documentary by Protect Our Winters. 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16.

In a search for a united path forward on climate policy through a shared love of the outdoors, snowboarder and environmentalist Jeremy Jones stars in Purple Mountains, presented by the Boulder-based nonprofit Protect Our Winters. The new hour-long documentary, directed by Josh ‘Bones’ Murphy (Artifishal) and produced by Liars & Thieves and Teton Gravity Research, premieres in an online event on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Purple Mountains follows Jones’ journey to engage his detractors, consider the future of clean air, clean water and a healthy planet, and search for common ground in the mountains — one voter at a time. Find screenings, RSVP for access to the world premiere and, starting on Sept. 17, stream the film for free at PurpleMountainsFilm.com.

Stories from our undocumented neighbors with Motus Theater’s ‘UndocuMonologues.’  7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, via Zoom. Free, RSVP required.

Join Motus Theater’s undocumented monologists and award-winning immigration history authors, professors Aviva Chomsky and Natalia Molina, for an intimate online performance exploring the intersection between immigration, race and economics in U.S. history. This special performance is part of the Boulder Public Library’s One Book, One Boulder program. Each monologue is followed by a musical response from a guest musician. After the performance, Chomsky and Molina will share their experience of reading these monologues from a personal and historical perspective, followed by responses by the UndocuMonologists and a Q&A with the audience.

Tom Prasada-Rao online concert — presented by Little Tree Acoustic House Concerts. 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. Donations for online concerts are $12 and up.

After Tom Prasada-Rao watched the story of George Floyd unfold in the news, he picked up his pen and he wrote. When he was finished writing, he picked up a four-string guitar with a broken pickguard, turned on the camera and, with a voice and body weakened by chemo, offered the world a mournful prayer. His song, “Twenty Dollar Bill (for George Floyd),” topped Folk Alliance International’s June radio airplay chart, has appeared on Democracy Now and NPR’s 1A podcast, and even found airtime on Icelandic radio. More than 200 people have covered the song so far. Now you can hear Prasada-Rao play this heartbreaking piece (and more from his catalog) live, from the comfort of your own home. Donate early to allow event organizers time to contact you about how to join the online concert. 

Backporch Series Presents: Felonius Smith Trio. 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, Dairy Arts Center parking lot, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Tickets are $25-$100, thedairy.org.

Enjoy a socially distant concert in the Dairy Arts Center Parking Lot. This week’s Backporch Series band is Felonius Smith Trio, which performs pre-war blues music inspired by the songs and styles of artists like Tampa Red and Fred McDowell. Let Felonius Smith’s National slide and snappy fingerpicking guitar style transport you to another time and place. The talented and expressive Steve Sheldon plays harmonica with the group. His love of old country blues and his experience with American roots musical styles is reflected in his melodic sense and traditional sound. Rounding out the trio is Scott Johnson, whose warm yet percussive approach to upright bass provides the backbone of the group’s historic Americana blues sound. When he doubles on sousaphone, it invokes the vibe of a New Orleans street band. Concessions including beer and wine will be available for purchase with credit card only. 

HEAVY ROTATION

Three new tracks to hear

by Caitlin Rockett

“Moonscape Waltz,” Misha Panfilov Sound Combo

Russian multi-instrumentalist Misha Panfilov provides the soundtrack for a micro-dosed psychedelic jazz brunch on his sophomore album with his Sound Combo, Days As Echos. Driven by a clean swinging beat, “Moonscape Waltz” has the cadence and lo-fi warmth of a train winding through verdant European countryside in the late ’60s. You can feel the sunshine on your face when the theremin kicks in.

Listen on Bandcamp.

Listen on Spotify.

Listen on YouTube Music.

“Kamelemba (Acoustic),” Oumou Sangaré 

Mali-born singer Oumou Sangaré features prominently in Béla Fleck’s 2008 documentary Throw Down Your Heart, an open-hearted exploration of the relationship between the banjo and musical traditions in Africa. The so-called Songbird of Wassoulou deals in the age-old sounds that gave birth to Fleck’s musical passion. The power of Sangaré’s voice is on full display in a newly released acoustic renditions of her 2017 album Mogoya. Sangaré has always advocated for women’s rights through her music, and in “Kamelemba” we hear her chide and denounce smooth-talking men. A ngoni, a string instrument in the same musical family as the banjo, launches this song into its bright trajectory. 

Listen on Bandcamp.

Listen on Spotify.

Listen on Tidal.

Listen on Apple Music.

1.3.0-20I

“Shabrang,” Sevdaliza

Iranian-Dutch singer-songwriter Sevdaliza is back with her second album, Shabrang, a moody, downtempo collection full of complex parables about good and evil. “Shabrang” (“night-colored”) is based on a fable from ancient Persian mythology about a sable horse that leads an Iranian prince through a mountain of fire in order to prove his innocence against false accusations of violence. On the cover of the album there is no horse, only Sevdaliza with a bruised eye. “Don’t worry / I’m gone,” she sings over wobbling, decayed bass. “I understand / It’s the skin that changes the most / Believe it or not / I refer to you as my holy suffering.” Sevdaliza, herself a refugee, transforms this into a parable about the hells humans will walk through to cope with violence — domestic or political.

Listen on Spotify.

Listen on Bandcamp.

Listen on Apple Music.

BOOKS AND WORDS

A book discussion with Boulder City Council Members Junie Joseph and Mary young. 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

Register to join an engaging community book discussion on So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, led by Boulder City Council Members Joseph and Mary Young. All are welcome to join. Junie Joseph was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moved to the United States when she was 14. After graduating from high school, Junie went on to earn a B.A. in political science and a master’s in applied human rights. Young, a first-generation child of Mexican immigrants, spoke only Spanish when she started grade school in Texas. She went on to study mechanical engineering at the University of Texas, El Paso, eventually leading her to start a career in Boulder. 

David Gessner — ‘Leave It As It Is.’ 5 p.m. Sept. 15 via Zoom. Tickets for this event are $5 on Eventbrite.

“Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s rallying cry signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today. To reconnect with the American wilderness and with the president who courageously protected it, acclaimed nature writer and New York Times bestselling author David Gessner embarks on a great American road trip guided by Roosevelt’s crusading environmental legacy. As Gessner journeys through the grandeur of our public lands, he tells the story of Roosevelt’s life as a pioneering conservationist, offering an arresting history, a powerful call to arms, and a profound meditation on our environmental future.

Brad Armstrong and Hank Brusselback — ‘Clowns Dancing on a Tank.’ 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 via Zoom. Tickets for this event are $5 on Eventbrite.

Clowns Dancing on a Tank tells the story of an aging artist who responds to the venality, corruption, authoritarianism and callousness of our present moment by doing what he knows: he paints his way into and through outrage, dismay, sadness and despair. The resulting paintings witness and resist the slow slide toward autocracy — a heartful, funny and provocative story that unites and encourages us, each in our own way, to push back.  

HOMEVIEWING

‘Zero Motivation’ and ‘Losing Ground’

by Michael J. Casey

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, TCM’s 14-week series, Women Make Film, continues with a line-up of seven films and a thematic focus on conversation, framing and tracking. Two not to miss are Zero Motivation from Israeli filmmaker Talya Lavie, and a nearly lost gem from the 1980s independent scene, Losing Ground from Kathleen Collins.

Set in a remote Israeli desert base and populated almost entirely by female soldiers ages 18 to 30, Zero Motivation follows those destined not for the front lines, but the filing cabinets. Their duties are secretarial (serving tea and coffee, providing office parties, documenting soldiers’ approved leave), and they perform these duties with an admirable level of apathy.

‘Zero Motivation’

Divided into three sections, Zero Motivation revolves primarily around Zohar (Dana Ivgy) and Daffi (Nelly Tagar), two close friends moving in opposite directions. Daffi hates being in the desert and applies for a transfer to Tel Aviv, which requires special commander training. Zohar, on the other hand, wants to beat her Minesweeper high score.

Zero Motivation is Lavie’s debut feature. Even though it isn’t specifically about gender roles in the Israeli Army, she manages to emphasize it by photographing the male soldiers with their semi-automatic rifles slung around their bodies like dormant phalluses. The girls only get staple guns. Apparently, there isn’t much difference between a desert army base and a suburban office building.

Much like Daffi, Losing Ground’s Sara (Seret Scott), a black middle-class philosophy professor, is looking for something a little more ecstatic than what’s she got. Her husband, Victor (Bill Gunn), is a painter — not to mention a philanderer — who wants to relocate to a summerhouse for the season. Sara reluctantly goes with him and finds emotional experiences well beyond the logic of her profession.

Duane Jones and Seret Scott appear in the rarely screened, newly restored independent film “Losing Ground.” Courtesy Milestone Films

Losing Ground was Collins’ first and only feature film, one that was virtually unseen until recently. The multi-faceted Collins was a professor of film history and screenwriting at City University of New York when one of her students urged her to get into filmmaking — a version of this is woven into Losing Ground’s plot. But the movie did not receive a theatrical run, and after Collins’ death in 1988, at the age of 46, Losing Ground vanished. Then, in the 2010s, a New York City film-processing lab contacted Collins’ daughter, Nina, to see if she wanted the surviving prints of her mother’s work. Nina worked with Milestone Films to restore Losing Ground, and when the restoration debuted in 2015, the film was herald as a revelation.

Had Losing Ground played theaters in 1982, it would have been the first feature film directed by a black American woman since the 1920s. To watch it today is to discover a missing piece of history. Zero Motivation received a stateside theatrical release in 2015, but it still managed to slip through the cracks, and Lavie’s latest, Honeymood, does not yet have U.S. distribution. The story of cinema is littered with undiscovered gems, what fun it is to uncover them.  

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